This week The Writer goes to the Texas State Reading Association conference in Austin. She'll give a speech and present on transitional readers. Transitional readers have learned to read but haven't yet crossed the bridge to fluent independent reading. The Writer wrote Time Spies and other books for 7 to 10 year olds to help those readers cross the bridge. Most of the time she has her audience in mind when writing a new book.
Years ago, she was friends with a well-known (now deceased) writer of humorous fantasy. He told her once that he wrote only for himself, never read other children's books, and, for fun, read his own published books. The Writer wasn't sure which of those statements floored her more.
Reading her own books. Obviously. Why else does she keep her old books out of sight?
The Writer believes some audiences need books specifically for their needs. She's glad to be going to TSRA. As much as she loves attending IRA conventions, the real work is accomplished at the state-level conferences. She's looking forward to meeting the Texas reading teachers and learning about the problems they face. After all, teachers, librarians, and children's writers share the same goal.
What, pray tell, does all this have to do with that swan picture?
Mute swans carry their babies on their backs to protect them. The Writer thinks of herself as a protector of young readers--
Oh, please! Even you don't believe that!
Okay, The Writer finally learned basic Photoshop last night. She practiced on this picture her husband took of these beautiful swans on the Potomac River. She corrected the lighting and cropped it--
Photoshop! At long last! Does this have anything to do with the picture she had taken for one of her webpages?
She's still looking for a tool or brush that will give her a neck.